OPINION | MARY REMMEL WOHLLEB: Senseless slurs | Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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Webster’s Dictionary Definition of Communism “A system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all who need them” https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/nov/27/senseless-slurs/ “A theory that advocates the abolition of private property” Oxford English Dictionary “The concept or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to his ability and needs.”

You’ll like to know that the etymology in me comes from the Latin and French words communes and communes, respectively, possibly referring to the purpose of maintaining the common good of society.

Working to sustain society as a whole seems like a worthy goal! Indeed, I submit that the major religions have universally strived to ensure the common good in their central message of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And “thou shalt do the least of these things” is to thy savior whom thou trustest.

According to the Oxford definition of socialism, it is “a political and economic theory of social organization in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange must be owned or controlled by law by the community as a whole.” The key thing missing when the state-owned words are thrown around today is that they are meant as insults.

Our own governor and the new Speaker of the House, we are socialists, Marxists, communists who seek social justice and civil rights, working to ensure that America’s most vulnerable are protected from hunger, homelessness, and medical care. And they deserve contempt, without knowing that they clearly lie about the true meaning of the words they throw at us.

Their “fearless leader” calls us barbarians! They say we are dangerous. They tell you to vote against anyone who wants to protect consumers with the most important regulations, many of which literally save lives. Talk about the effort to protect the only planet that can sustain life as an economic killer. (In that case, it was good to see Craig Douglas recently argue that recycling properly is a win-win for the environment and the economy. The wealthy have widened the wealth gap to obscene levels in recent decades.

The self-serving “manipulation” economic theory espoused by Ronald Reagan and his allies has been shown to be deeply flawed. The Joe Biden administration is showing that new markets will emerge that will help traders increase profits by picking up the most vulnerable. Higher wages temporarily cost more and may raise certain costs, but also create more people who can afford goods and services. After World War II there was also the issue of the Marshall Plan, when our aid to Germany provided not only Germany but also Americans with new markets for goods and services, and created new alliances.

A better alternative to communism and socialism is compassionate capitalism. The private sector is still private. Meets critical regulatory requirements to protect workforce, environment and consumer safety. Prices do not increase, especially during supply chain disruptions. They don’t offer profit-related bonuses that encourage CEOs to work hard so that shareholders can inflate their own pay.

Compassionate capitalism improves the lives of those in need and provides for the common good.

How can any CEO earn a multi-million dollar annual salary at a company that refuses to pay many of its employees a living wage? Can anyone explain how fighting for universal health care coverage will make society as a whole healthier and wealthier? Can anyone explain how for profit companies are more cost efficient and beneficial to consumers when their main objective is to increase net profit?

Micah 6 says the Lord wants us to “do justice and love mercy.” How do shareholders and CEOs who prioritize profits over safety or the common good of consumers meet that standard?

Imagine if our competitive desire to make more money was treated with compassion and consideration for our neighbors – all our neighbors! Imagine that the competition is “How can I do the best for society and the planet as a whole?”

I wish for that world. Not a communist or socialist world (I can’t find a single historical example of a truly communist or socialist government that didn’t fail when corrupt “leaders” took over). Still, if enough of us were fully engaged, we could work toward a kinder and more compassionate world, a world free of the insults hurled by politicians seeking social justice and civil rights.

Now that would be fantastic! Compassion! Kindness! Compassion! I’ll take those qualities over heartless indifference any day. Hey you?


Mary Remel Wohleb of Little Rock has a master’s degree in French literature from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in international management with a concentration in cross-cultural relations from the American Graduate School of International Management.



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